Finnish meat producer Atria Group's net sales in the third quarter (Q3) of this year totaled 382.4 million euros (452.4 million U.S. dollars) compared with 366 million euros in the same period of 2019, said the company's interim report published on Thursday.
EBIT (consolidated earnings before interest and taxes) was 19 million euros between July and September this year, up from 16.7 million euros in the third quarter of 2019.
Net sales and EBIT of Atria Finland, which is responsible for the group's operations in Finland, were boosted by pork exports to China, the company said.
"Pork exports to China, in particular, have increased and the development of the Chinese market has a substantial bearing on the market situation for pork," said Juha Grohn, chief executive officer (CEO) of Atria, adding that about 20 percent of the pork processed by Atria is currently exported to China.
The other arms of the group -- Atria Sweden, Atria Russia, as well as Atria Denmark and Estonia -- all posted a positive EBIT, according to the company.
The third quarter of 2020 was strong for Atria in terms of growth and earnings, noted Grohn in the report, adding that the group reached its EBIT target of five percent.
Grohn attributed the strong Q3 results to the group's effective resistance to the harmful impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic. He said that none of the group's production units have had to cease their operations because of the pandemic.
In the coming winter, the effectiveness of the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 will have a decisive impact on Atria's operations and profits, Grohn said. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars)